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MARKET

TRENDS
& SALARY
REPORT
1H 2015 HONG KONG

Contents
Introduction 4
Hong Kong Market Overview
Banking & Financial Services 6
Finance & Accounting 14
Sales & Marketing 16
Supply Chain & Procurement 20
Technology 22

Hong Kong Market Survey Results 27


About Ambition 34

AMBITION MARKET TRENDS & SALARY REPORT 1H 2015 HONG KONG

Introduction
The year 2014 was a steady rather than a
spectacular year in recruitment in Hong
Kong and 2015 promises to be the same
although it could be derailed by any
number of economic or political issues.
Similarly Hong Kongs safe haven status
creates an opportunity for steady growth in
otherwise tough economic conditions.
Whilst economic predictions are beyond the realm of this report,
changes in economic conditions change business and consumer
confidence which in turn affects organisations desire to hire,
either by adding headcount or improving the quality of their talent, or both. Similarly, individuals
alter their risk profiles around moving jobs depending on their view of the health of the
economy, which in turn affects the supply of talent.
There are of course some broader regional and global trends at play that will affect the whitecollar recruitment market in Hong Kong.
The emergence of big data, fast data, digital and mobile causing the convergence
of the marketing and technology disciplines.
With big data and fast data coupled with anything digital and mobile emerging as the dominant
business trends, it is increasing the demand for individuals with digital marketing and data
analytics skills, and causing the convergence of the technology and marketing disciplines within
organisational structures.
The Financial Services sector dominated by risk management and increasing
compliance.
With the continued relocation to lower cost locations of back office and middle office finance
and operations roles in the investment banks, the focus, as the regulatory sector strengthens,
is on hiring Audit and Risk & Compliance roles. In the non-banking financial services sector, the
hedge funds, insurance, and investment management companies continue to add headcount
across the board.
Traditional recruitment flight to quality achieve more with less.
Not withstanding the high demand for specific skill sets in digital and risk and compliance,
recruitment in the traditional commercial industry sectors is patchy with hiring in the FMCG,
luxury retail and some areas of manufacturing slow. In other sectors such as Beauty & Skincare,
Fashion & Apparel, Construction & Property, Professional and Business Services, hiring activities
were more robust.
4

In the disciplines in which we recruit - Sales & Marketing, Supply Chain, Accounting and
Technology, we are seeing a flight to quality amongst our clients as organisations look to
upgrade their talent and achieve greater productivity from fewer headcount.
Retention challenges loom
With an ageing workforce and a focus on eCommerce the domain of the younger generations
we are seeing challenges for organisations in retaining their brightest young talent as the
talent pool for this particular sector becomes more competitive.
With recruitment of top talent becoming more difficult, companies are retaining their best
talent through creating a positive culture, rewarding career opportunities and competitive
remuneration packages. Talent retention and attraction will become more challenging and
important in 2015.
Soft skills in increasing demand
When hiring, it is an ever present requirement from organisations for good communication,
negotiation and language skills. They remain difficult to find and a premium is paid for such skills.
Overall view on salaries growth
Whilst there will be spikes in demand and therefore premiums in salaries being paid for certain
skill sets and sector experience across all industry sectors, there are no underlying imbalances in
supply and demand that are pushing general salaries across the board much higher.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support of Ambition
and would be pleased to assist you with specific market or salary advice or assistance with
recruitment within your business.
In addition to our offices in Hong Kong we can help you recruit across Asia (Singapore, Tokyo,
and Kuala Lumpur ), Australia (Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane ) and the United Kingdom.
Kind regards,

Paul Lyons
Co-Founder

AMBITION MARKET TRENDS & SALARY REPORT 1H 2015 HONG KONG

BANKING &
FINANCIAL
SERVICES
GENERAL BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES OVERVIEW:
Overall, hiring activities have improved compared to
2013. Banks added new headcounts as the general market
sentiment improved and regulatory requirements increased.
However, banks continued to face challenges on costs and
organisational restructuring which has put pressure on
headcount controls.
Generally, headcount approvals and salary increases on offers had been more relaxed compared
to recent years. Many candidates received multiple job offers in high demands areas (e.g.
compliance, internal audit, client-on-boarding).
Year-on-year salary increment is between 4% to 5%, and as some banks are still not able to give much
of an increase for promotions, these mostly falls between 4% to 10% on base salary.
The salary increment average range for job changes are as follows:
Finance - 10% to 20%
Operations 10% to 20%
Internal Audit 18% to 25%
Risk 18% to 25%
Compliance 20% to 50%
Marketing 10% to 20%
OPERATIONS
Client-on-Boarding (COB) and Know-your-Client (KYC)
Most of the COB/ KYC hiring activities at senior level were new openings because a few large
international banks expanded their functions. The majority of these were overseas hires due to the
limited pool of well qualified VP level or above candidates in the Hong Kong market. Banks were
seeking VPs who can lead and be hands-on at the same time. Salary increments can be from 30% to
40% due to limited number of candidates available.
On the junior to middle level, there is a shortage of COB professionals with 4+ years solid experience
that are open to the market, with only a few willing to move into the Compliance space versus staying
in Operations. Junior candidates specialising in the COB/KYC functions are aware that their skill sets
are in demand and are often on the lookout for better prospects. Asking for 20%+ salary increment is
common when moving into new positions. Candidates familiar with new regulatory requirement, such
as FATCA are especially in demand.
6

Project Management
Project Management roles at senior levels had been a mix of long term contracts and permanent.
There were a few large scale initiatives (e.g. Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect), regulatory
emphasis, and off-shoring which drove a small increase of recruitment activities. Some Change
Management teams in Operations and Finance are now merging with Technology too.
To remain in demand, candidates need to stay flexible and well versed in both IT and Operations/
Finance skills.
Trade Support / Operations Regulatory Reporting
Most hires for this area were for replacement roles (a mix of permanent and contract positions)
from Analyst to Associate level within global banks. The emphasis is for candidates with good
communication skills and relevant product knowledge in Cash Equity and Equity Derivatives.
Candidates with Fixed Income and Settlement experience are increasingly feeling pressured to
gain more exposure in duties and products in order to stay competitive in the market.
Private Banking / Private Wealth Management Operations
There was a strong demand for experienced Private Banker Assistants with solid stock trading
experience and good market/sales analysis skills. Employers place a strong emphasis on language
skills: Mandarin, English, or other Asian language (Japanese, Thai), with fluent Mandarin speakers
being the most in demand to service the growing mainland market.
Trade Finance
There had been a few movements at the Department Head level for Trade Finance (VP and
Director grade). The challenge was the lack of available candidates in this market because most of
them tend to be stable and have progressed through the ranks with the same organisation and are
not active job seekers.
There was a moderate level of trade finance hiring activity from the junior to middle levels. These
were mostly replacement roles where banks wanted to up-skill their teams in communication,
product knowledge and project management.
Overall Operations / Middle Office hiring activities have been moderate to low at the senior end as
most of the banks are still looking at operational efficiency, off-shoring and function merging, such
as parts of Product Control moving into Middle Office and continuous off-shoring activities to
lower cost locations. The majority of the vacancies at VP and Director levels were internally filled.
While most of the external hires were at Associate and AVP levels.
Insurance
We have observed a consistent need in traditional operation roles: customer services, policy
administration, and sales support in bancassurance within insurance companies. Increased
demand was noted for Business Development professionals with good local GI market knowledge
targeting large caps. Candidates with niche insurance market knowledge such as Trade Credit,
Marine, Liability & Property, Employee Benefits are difficult to find thus are always in demand.
RISK MANAGEMENT
We saw an increase in hiring for Front Office Risk and Business / Functional line specific roles (such
as in Operations and Risk) in 2014 as banks were committed to add more support in first and
second line defence. Some of these roles may sit within the Business Management / COO function
as well as newly created roles and teams being part of the front office headcounts. The increase in
demands was mostly from investment banking and global markets areas.
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AMBITION MARKET TRENDS & SALARY REPORT 1H 2015 HONG KONG

At the middle to senior level, candidates with experience in operational risk, credit risk, conduct risk,
and financial risk coupled with compliance experience will find themselves in high demand in this
competitive market.
COMPLIANCE
Compliance activities have continued to be busy in 2014 with the majority of the hiring activities in
AML related and products specific compliance advisory roles across both investment and private banks.
Across the major banking groups (universal banks with diverse banking businesses), there had been a
strong focus on hiring AML investigations and AML advisory professionals for new and replacement
roles.
Some of the mid-size international banks were also putting in place or building out new AML teams
on the ground. The later part of 2013 and earlier 2014 saw a few new regional and country team head
changes across the major banks, resulting in more changes due to team structures being put in place,
most activity having happened in the AVP and VP levels. For product specific compliance advisory roles,
the focus for Hong Kong was mostly equities, derivatives, private banking and wealth management.
We have also seen a small but increasing demand from banks who added project management teams
within compliance functions to drive regulatory change initiatives.
Compliance Testing has also been a growing area that is demanding candidates with internal audit or
operational risk skills. Most of these teams were set up one to two years ago and continued to expand
in 2014. Many hires were at VP level. This function had been competing for the same pool of internal
audit and operational risk candidates who were already well sought after and in shortage due to the
increasing demand in the internal audit and operational risk functions.
In general, banks have been more open-minded with taking compliance candidates from regulators and
specialist compliance consultancies due to the lack of qualified candidates from direct competitors.
Salaries for compliance jobseekers could easily reach 30% to 50% increase with new job offers.
INTERNAL AUDIT
Internal audit has been one of the busiest areas in terms of new and replacement hiring activities. This
is because a couple of large size international banks have been expanding their Internal Audit function
significantly across the Asia region and with a few others continuously restructuring their Internal
Audit functions. The dominating trend this year had been the subject matter expertise approach
whereby the internal auditors were dedicated to specific functions / business units. Some of the banks
were recruiting subject matter experts who may not have internal audit background but have been in
disciplines where they would be auditing.
The shortage of qualified candidates was stressed further by other functions within the banks like
Compliance Testing, Operational Risk and Front Office Risks which are also targeting Internal Audit
candidates these roles are often good alternative considerations for Internal Audit candidates as
travel demands are significantly less and they offer opportunities to move into a new area and gain new
exposure. More of the banks are also opening up to hiring candidates directly from Big 4 at
senior levels.
Most of the hiring activities in Internal Audit this year had been at VP and AVP levels with a few at
Directors level and candidates can expect a salary increase between 18% to 25% on base for new jobs in
Internal Audit.

FINANCE / ACCOUNTING
At the senior level, Financial Accounting and Product Control was very stable in 2014. There was very
little activity except for a few department head replacement roles within small to mid-size brokerages
and banks. Other hiring activities in Finance were mainly with the mid-size Chinese banks and
brokerages, with most of the activity at the AVP level. A few banks are moving parts of the product
control tasks into middle office (merging the teams) and continuously offshoring routine tasks to
lower cost locations.
In the Tax area, there has been more movement at the senior end (Director / MD level) in 2014 due
to team restructuring. We saw a trend of senior tax professionals from investment banks moving into
other financial services sectors such as Asset Management, Private Equity, Securities, and Brokerage
as well as moving back into the Big 4 sector. Replacements within investment banks have mostly been
internally filled.
Regulatory reporting remains a focus for many banks who are looking to strengthen their control,
rebuild or upscale their teams to meet more stringent regulatory requirements. Due to headcount
issues, some of these banks chose to replace a better calibre team lead who is in a permanent role and
then add contractor headcounts to the team to cope with the tight reporting deadlines. Some banks
have brought back the offshore regulatory reporting function to Hong Kong.
Experienced finance managers for private equity funds continue to be in demand. Clients are also
open to hiring strong Big 4 audit managers with fund management specialisation or experienced fund
accountants from fund services companies with relevant private equity client exposure.
Some insurance companies continue to grow their finance teams in both financial and management
reporting, mostly at AVP / Manager level.
CONTRACTING & TEMPORARY HIRES
We continue to see an increasing demand for contracting and temporary positions due to headcount
pressures. Due to some organisational restructuring, a lot of banks turned their admin functions
into rolling contract positions to minimise costs and headcount. For some functions which are in
transition (e.g. moving Product Control to Middle Office or merging change project management
teams to Technology, etc), the need for short term contractors also arises.
Hong Kong candidates would still prefer to look for permanent jobs due to job stability, but they have
become more open and receptive to contract positions to increase market exposure and to avoid
career gaps on their CVs. We also saw a high success rate for strong contract performers who were
converted to permanent headcounts after 6 to 12 months.

AMBITION MARKET TRENDS & SALARY REPORT 1H 2015 HONG KONG

Banking & Financial Services


Investment Banking
Job Title
CFO

Annual Salary Range (HK$)

Regional Chief Financial Officer


Country Chief Financial Officer

2M+
1.6M+

Compliance
Managing Director

2.1M+

Director

1.8M - 2.1M

Vice President

1.1M - 1.7M

Assistant Vice President

720K - 1M

Associate

360K - 660K

Analyst
Management Reporting / FP & A

300K - 420K

Managing Director
Director

2M+
1.4M - 1.8M

Vice President

840K - 1.4M

Assistant Vice President

600K - 780K

Associate

300K - 540K

Analyst

220K - 360K

Product Control
Managing Director

2M+

Director

1.5M - 1.8M

Vice President

900K - 1.5M

Assistant Vice President

600K - 900K

Associate

420K - 540K

Analyst

300K - 420K

Regulatory Reporting / Financial Accounting


Managing Director

2M+

Director

1.4M - 1.8M

Vice President

840K - 1.4M

Assistant Vice President

540K - 780K

Associate
Analyst

240K - 480K
220K - 360K

Tax
Managing Director

2M+

Director

1.5M - 1.8M+

Vice President

960K - 1.5M

Assistant Vice President

540K - 900K

Associate

400K - 540K

Analyst

220K - 360K

Operations (Settlements / Corporate Actions / Treasury)

10

Managing Director

1.8M+

Director

1.2M - 1.8M

Vice President

660K - 1.2M

Assistant Vice President

480K - 720K

Associate

360K - 500K

Analyst

240K - 390K

Banking & Financial Services


Investment Banking
Job Title

Annual Salary Range (HK$)

Operations (Client On-Boarding / KYC Operations )


Managing Director

1.8M+

Director

1.4M - 1.8M

Vice President

780K - 1.3M

Assistant Vice President

500K - 800K

Associate

400K- 520K

Analyst

260K - 420K

Middle Office (Trade Support / Sales Support / Client Services)


Managing Director

1.8M+

Director

1.4M - 1.8M

Vice President

840K - 1.4M

Assistant Vice President

540K - 900K

Associate

420K - 540K

Analyst

260K - 420K

Project Management
Managing Director

2M+

Director

1.4M - 1.8M

Vice President

960K - 1.5M

Assistant Vice President

720K - 960K

Associate

420K - 650K

Analyst

250K - 450K

Credit Risk
Managing Director

1.8M+

Director

1.3M - 1.6M

Vice President

800K - 1.4M

Assistant Vice President

500K - 800K

Associate

360K - 500K

Analyst

240K - 360K

Market Risk
Managing Director

2M+

Director

1.5M - 1.8M

Vice President

960K - 1.5M

Assistant Vice President

600K - 900K

Associate

480K - 600K

Analyst

300K - 500K

Operational Risk / Internal Control


Managing Director

2M+

Director

1.4M - 1.8M

Vice President

900K - 1.5M

Assistant Vice President

600K - 900K

Associate

360K - 600K

Analyst

240K - 420K

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AMBITION MARKET TRENDS & SALARY REPORT 1H 2015 HONG KONG

Banking & Financial Services


Investment Banking
Job Title
Internal Audit

Annual Salary Range (HK$)

Managing Director

2.1M+

Director

1.7M - 2.1M

Vice President

1M - 1.6M

Assistant Vice President

600K - 900K

Associate

360K - 600K

Analyst

300K - 420K

Private Banking, Asset / Fund Management & other Financial Services


Job Title

Annual Salary Range (HK$)

Operations
Director

1.1M+

Senior Manager

720K - 1M

Manager

540K - 720K

Assistant Manager

360K - 540K

Officer / Senior Officer

144K - 360K

Regulatory Reporting / Financial Accounting


Director

1.2M+

Senior Manager

720K -1.1M

Manager

540K - 720K

Assistant Manager

360K - 540K

Officer / Senior Officer

180K - 360K

Management Reporting / FP & A


Director

1.2M+

Senior Manager

720K - 1M

Manager

540K - 720K

Assistant Manager

360K - 540K

Officer / Senior Officer

180K - 360K

Internal Audit / Risk


Director
Senior Manager
Manager
Assistant Manager
Officer / Senior Officer

1.3M+
780K - 1.2M
540K - 780K
360K - 540K
240K - 380K

Compliance
Director

1.3M+

Senior Manager

780K - 1.2M

Manager

540K - 780K

Assistant Manager

360K - 540K

Officer / Senior Officer

240K - 380K

12

Banking & Financial Services


Insurance
Job Title

Annual Salary Range (HK$)

Operations
Director

1M+

Senior Manager

660K - 1M

Manager

480K - 660K

Assistant Manager

300K - 450K

Officer / Senior Officer

120K - 330K

Regulatory Reporting / Financial Accounting


Director

1.2M+

Senior Manager

660K - 1.1M

Manager

480K - 660K

Assistant Manager

350K - 460K

Officer / Senior Officer

150K - 350K

Management Reporting / FP & A


Director

1.2M+

Senior Manager

720K - 1.1M

Manager

540K - 720K

Assistant Manager

300K - 480K

Officer / Senior Officer

150K - 350K

Tax
Director
Senior Manager
Manager
Assistant Manager
Officer / Senior Officer

1.3M+
720K - 1.2M
540K - 720K
360K - 480K
200K - 360K

Internal Audit / Risk


Director

1.3M+

Senior Manager

780K - 1.2M

Manager

480K - 780K

Assistant Manager

360K - 540K

Officer / Senior Officer


Compliance

240K - 360K

Director

1.3M+

Senior Manager

780K - 1.2M

Manager

480K - 780K

Assistant Manager

360K - 540K

Officer / Senior Officer

240K - 360K

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AMBITION MARKET TRENDS & SALARY REPORT 1H 2015 HONG KONG

FINANCE &
ACCOUNTING
For the Hong Kong Finance & Accounting job market, the
second half of 2014, as expected, saw a good demand for
qualified accountants at all levels, especially those with
exceptional financial controllership and Greater China
experience. Seeking career advancement and greater job
security were cited as the primary reasons for job changes in
the second half of 2014.
Demand for Financial Planning & Analysis talent stayed strong. These were mostly replacement
roles for managerial level in Media, Retail and FMCG with a majority of them focusing on the
Greater China market due to continuing business growth. There has also been movements
in multinational companies, mainly among Accounting Managers, Financial Controllers and
Directors running Shared Service Centres for the Asia region.
In the junior to mid-level market, there has been an increasing demand, compared with the first
half of the year for junior Accounting roles such as Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivables,
Billing and Costing. With an increasing level of corporate transaction activities in Hong Kong, the
job market has been buoyant for candidates with transaction advisory experience in in-house
corporate finance functions: Merger & Acquisitions, Project Management and Equity Research.
This trend is likely to continue in 2015 and the market sentiment remains strong with more
corporate finance talents moving up the career ladder and taking up more demanding roles.
2014 has seen an increasing number of contract positions, especially towards the end of the
financial year. A lot of companies are discovering the benefits of hiring contract staff highly
valuable, providing a solution to headcount constraints and an immediate source of talent that
can enrich the organisation with a wealth of experience.
For 2015, it is expected that the job market for Finance & Accounting will continue to be
active, ranging from the junior, newly qualified to the experienced middle management finance
professionals. Employers hiring in Finance & Accounting functions will continue to rank relevant
experience, professional qualifications and language skills as the top priorities when making their
hiring decisions.

14

Finance & Accounting Professionals


Commerce & Industry
Job Title

Experience

Annual Salary Range (HK$)

Head of Audit

12 - 15

1M - 1.4M

Senior Audit Manager

8 - 10

720K - 1M

Internal Audit Manager

5-8

540K - 720K

Internal Auditor

3-5

300K - 520K

CFO

15+

1.5M - 2.5M

Finance Director

12 - 15

1.0M - 1.5M

Regional Financial Controller

10 - 12

800K - 1.2M

Financial Controller

8 - 10

720K - 1M

Finance / Accounting Manager

6 - 10

480K - 660K

Financial Accountant

3-6

270K - 420K

Accounts Payable / Accounts Receivable Accountant

Up to 8 years

144K - 348K

Manager - Management Accounting

8 - 10

540K - 660K

Senior Management Accountant

6-8

450K - 540K

Management Accountant

3-5

300K - 450K

Head of Planning & Analysis

10 - 12

900K - 1.4M

Financial Planning & Analysis Manager

8 - 10

580K - 720K

Senior Financial Analyst

6-8

480K - 580K

Financial Analyst

3-6

312K - 480K

Vice President / Head of Tax

12+

900K - 1.6M

Tax Manager

8 - 10

540K - 900K

Tax Accountant

3-7

300K - 480K

Head of Treasury

10 - 12

800K - 1.2M

Treasury Manager

8 - 10

540K - 800K

Treasury Accountant

4-8

240K - 540K

Audit / Internal Control

Financial Accounting

Management Accounting

Planning & Analysis

Tax

Treasury

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AMBITION MARKET TRENDS & SALARY REPORT 1H 2015 HONG KONG

SALES & mARKETING


The second half of 2014 proved to be a strong one in terms of
recruitment across sales and marketing functions. Businesses
continued to invest in human capital and the vibe remains
positive for nearly all industry sectors.
The consumer sector showed great momentum with many retail and FMCG brands actively
seeking talent, especially at the middle management level. E-commerce remains a core strategy
for many luxury and retail businesses, not only because of an increasing cost base, but driven
by more tech-savvy consumers with different purchasing patterns. The overall consumer
market also displayed positive signs as companies continue to recruit in anticipation of good
market conditions. Marketers with specialised skills in digital marketing and social media will find
themselves in high demand. It is also worth noting that many consumer brands have increased
headcounts in CRM as they increasingly see the importance of customer retention and loyalty.
Professional services sectors also shared similar market sentiment. International law firms expect
to see strong results closing 2014 and project an even better 2015. As a result, candidates with
new business development experience will be highly sought after. The creative industry however,
will be facing another challenging year. Many advertising and full-service marketing agencies will
struggle to meet financial goals in 2014. With competition growing and razor-thin margin, many
candidates on the agency side are looking for opportunities to crossover to working for brand
owners.
Other industries such as construction, building materials and related sectors also experienced
a busy year in terms of talent acquisition. Driven by a high volume of residential, commercial
and infrastructure projects in Hong Kong and in Mainland China, demand for high calibre sales
professionals increased significantly, especially in the latter part of 2014.
The biggest challenge businesses face is a limited pool of quality candidates. Companies with a
relatively lengthy recruitment process, will risk losing candidates to competitors who are able to
make hiring decisions swiftly and decisively. Some companies are using creative ways to shorten
interview processes and seeing great benefits from doing so. Overall we expect this positive
momentum to carry through to the first two quarters of 2015 where recruitment activity will
remain strong.
We did not see a high demand in hiring for marketing professionals within the banking sector.
There were still a few banks recruiting marketing professionals on long term contracts rather than
permanent positions. Within the banks, newly created marketing roles were mostly business /
products specific. There were also some demands for media relations candidates.
Within financial services, we saw an increased demand for digital marketing, online marketing and
web content management professionals. Talent in these areas are still limited thus employers may
need to consider other marketing candidates from journalism, corporate communications, and
at times even from the technology field where candidates have a strong background with online
tools, statistical systems and a strong interest to do marketing work.
16

Sales & Marketing


Banking & Financial Services
Job Title

Experience

Annual Salary Range (HK$)

Marketing Director

15+

1.4M - 2M+

VP, Marketing

12+

780K - 1.3M

AVP / Manager Marketing

6 - 10

540K - 720K

Associate / Assistant Marketing Manager

3-5

240K - 480K

Head of Corporate Communications / Affairs

15+

1.3M - 1.8M+

VP, Corporate Communications / Affairs

12+

720K - 1.2M

AVP / Manager Corporate Communications / Affairs

6 - 10

480K - 720K

Associate / Assistant Corporate Communications Manager 3 - 5

240K - 480K

Head of Events

15+

1.1M - 1.5M+

VP Events

12+

660K - 1M

AVP / Manager Events

6 - 10

480K - 600K

Event Specialist

3-5

240K - 420K

VP Media Relations

6 - 10

720K - 1.3M

Head of Market Research / Business Intelligence

15+

1.2M - 1.7M+

Market Research / Business Intelligence Manager

6 - 10

600K - 900K

Experience

Annual Salary Range (HK$)

Vice President / Marketing Director

15+

1M - 1.5M

Associate Director

10+

720K - 1M

Marketing Manager

5 - 10

420K - 720K

Vice President / Director, Distribution

12+

1M - 1.5M

Associate Director, Distribution

10+

720K - 1M

Distribution Manager

6-8

420K - 650K

Vice President / Director, Advertising Sales

15+

800k - 1.5M

Associate Director, Sales

10+

720K - 1M

Sales Manager

8+

480K - 720K

Programming Manager

5-8

300K - 540K

General Manager

15+

1.5M+

Sales Director

12+

910K - 1.5M

Sales Manager

8+

520K - 720K

Key Account Manager

6-8

390K - 520K

Assistant Key Account Manager

3-5

260K - 360K

Marketing Director

15+

910K - 1.5M

Marketing Manager

10+

540K - 750K

Assistant Marketing Manager

6-8

390K - 520K

Senior Brand Manager

7 - 10

650K - 910K

Brand Manager

5-8

360K - 480K

Assistant Brand Manager

3-5

300K - 350K

Category Manager

5-8

300K - 420K

Assistant Category Manager

3-5

240K - 300K

Product Manager

5-8

360K - 480K

Assistant Product Manager

3-5

300K - 350K

Trade Marketing Manager

5-8

390K - 520K

Assistant Trade Marketing Manager

3-5

300K - 360K

Commerce & Industry


Job Title
Broadcasting / Entertainment

FMCG

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AMBITION MARKET TRENDS & SALARY REPORT 1H 2015 HONG KONG

Sales & Marketing


Commerce & Industry
Job Title

Experience

Annual Salary Range (HK$)

Managing Director

15+

1.8M+

*Head of Sales

15+

1.6M - 1.8M

*Sales/Business Development Director

10 - 15+

1M - 1.5M

*Sales Manager

6 - 8+

540K - 800K+

*Account Manager

3-5

400 - 600K

Head of Marketing

15+

1M - 1.5M

Marketing Director

10 - 15

800K - 1M

Marketing Manager

8+

480K - 720K

Assistant Marketing Manager

6+

350K - 420K

Channel Manager

4-6

300K - 400K

Product Manager

3-5

300K - 400K

Social Media Manager

5-8

520K - 650K

Sales Operation Manager

8 - 10

325K - 400K

Marketing Director

15+

1M - 1.5M

Marketing Manager

6 - 8+

480K - 720K

Corporate Communications Manager

5-8

480K - 720K

Business Development Director

15+

1.2M - 2M

Business Development Manager

6 - 8+

600K - 960K

Business Development/Marketing Executive

3-5

300K - 600K

PR Manager

6 - 8+

450K - 720K

Chief Editor

12+

900K - 1.3M

Editor

3-6

300K - 480K

Circulation Director

15+

900K - 1.2M

Circulation Marketing Manager

6-8

420K - 650K

Circulation Sales Manager

6-8

420K - 700K

Advertising Sales Director

15+

1M - 1.3M

Advertising Sales Manager

6-8

400K - 660K

Client/Customer Service Manager

4-6

300K - 420K

Account Manager

4-6

300K - 450K

General Manager

15+

1M - 1.3M

Sales/Business Development Director

10 - 15

800K - 1M

Business Development Manager

8 - 10

650K - 800K

Sales Manager

6-8

480K - 660K

Sales Executive/Sales Engineer

240K - 360K

Marketing/Communications Director

10 - 15

800K - 1M

Product Marketing Manager

8 - 10

650K - 800K

Product Marketing Engineer

3-5

240K - 360K

Marketing Manager

6-8

500K - 650K

Marketing Executive

3-5

250K - 420K

Project Manager

6 - 10

520K - 715K

Project Engineer

3-5

325K - 455K

Technical Officer

3-5

260K - 325K

Technical Manager

6 - 10

455K - 546K

IT / Telecommunications

Professional Services

Media/Publishing

Industrial & Manufacturing

18

Sales & Marketing


Commerce & Industry
Job Title

Experience

Annual Salary Range (HK$)

Head of Marketing

15+

1M - 1.5M

Marketing Manager

10+

650K - 850K

Assistant Marketing Manager

5-8

300K - 500K

Marketing Executive

1-3

130K - 240K

Brand Manger

6 - 10+

650K - 900K

Senior Brand Manager

4-6

450K - 520K

PR Manager

5-8

360K - 650K

Assistant PR Manager

3-5

250K - 360K

Merchandising / Buying Manager

8+

650K - 910K

Digital Marketing Director

10 - 15

1M - 1.5M

Digital Marketing Manager

6+

480K - 720K

CRM Director

10 - 15

910K - 1.5M

CRM Manager

8+

650K - 910K

Retail Operations Manager

8+

650K - 910K

Assistant Retail Operations Manager

6-8

360K - 480K

Area Manager

5+

360K - 480K

Store Manager

3+

140K - 360K

Group Managing Director

20+

1.5M - 2M+

Managing Director

15+

1.2M - 1.5M

Business Director

12+

960K - 1.2M

Client Services Director

12+

960K - 1.2M

Strategic Planning Director

12+

850K - 1.2M

Group Account Director

10+

720K - 850K

Account Director

6-8

480K - 720K

Account Manager

5+

300K - 420K

Managing Director

20

1.5M+

Director / Group Account Director

15+

1M - 1.5M

Account Director

6-8

480K - 720K

Account Manager

5+

300K - 420K

Sales Director

15+

1M+

Sales Manager

8+

600K - 840K

Marketing Manager

5-8

420K - 720K

Marketing Executive

3-5

240K - 360K

Head of Leasing

15+

1.2M+

Senior Leasing Manager

12 - 15

800K - 1.2M

Leasing Manager

8 - 10

600K - 800K

Assistant Leasing Manager

6-8

420K - 600K

Senior Leasing Officer

3-5

300K - 420K

Head of Marketing/Communications

15+

1.2M+

Marketing/Communications Director

12 - 15

900K - 1.1M

Senior Marketing/Communications Manager

10 - 12

720K - 900K

Marketing/Communications Manager

8 - 10

480K - 720K

Assistant Marketing/Communications Manager

6-8

360K - 420K

Senior Marketing/Communications Officer

3-5

300K - 360K

Retail

Advertising Agency

PR Agency

Online

Property & Real Estate

19

AMBITION MARKET TRENDS & SALARY REPORT 1H 2015 HONG KONG

SUPPLY CHAIN &


PROCUREMENT
Trends across the Supply Chain & Procurement sectors
continued in a similar fashion compared to the first half of 2014.
Entry and middle level candidates tend to seek opportunities
with companies within the retail, luxury and FMCG sectors
where they see great potential in career development as well
as structured training having more emphasis.
Experienced candidates at the executive level expressed concerns about limitations on career
advancement as many businesses have strategically relocated leadership positons out of Hong
Kong into cities like Singapore and Shanghai, where they find a higher level of empowerment
and accountability.
Electronics, manufacturing and 3rd party logistics providers faced difficulties attracting and
retaining talent as candidates leave for other industries that exhibit greater potential for growth
and development. The retail and luxury sectors are facing very different challenges, such as
lengthy interview processes and high expectations of candidates, which often lead to positions
being vacant for months and at times over a year.
When assessing suitability of candidates, employers will first look for relevant industry
experience, but emphasis will also be put on stability and cultural fit. That said, we have seen
more cases where employers hire based on transferable skills and the candidates potential.
We project 2015 to be another promising year where recruitment activity will continue to be
strong and businesses will further invest in human capital. Learning and development will be
another area of focus for many businesses as they see the value and benefit of upgrading staff
through internal training and organic growth rather than hiring talent externally.

20

Supply Chain & Procurement


Commerce & Industry
Job Title

Experience

Annual Salary Range (HK$)

Supply Chain

Years of experience

Annual Salary Range (HK$)

Head of Supply Chain

18+

1.2M - 1.6M+

Regional Supply Chain Director/VP

15+

1M - 1.2M

Supply Chain Director/VP

12+

650K - 1M

Supply Chain Manager

8 - 12

455K - 650K

Assistant Supply Chain Manager

6-8

364K - 455K

Senior Supply/Demand Planner

4-6

350K - 390K

Supply/Demand Planner

3-5

260K - 364K

Head of Logsitics/Warehouse Operations

18+

1.2M - 1.5+

Regional Director/VP

15+

910K - 1.1M

Director/VP

12+

715K - 910K

Regional Manager

7 - 10

520K - 650K

Manager

5-8

350K - 455K

Assistant Manager

3-5

240K - 325K

Senior Officer

2-3

195K - 230K

CPO

17+

1.8M - 2M+

Director/VP

12 - 17

1.2M - 1.8M

Senior Manager

9 - 12

900K - 1.2M

Manager

7 - 10

560K - 900K

Assistant Manager

3-6

336K - 560K

Officer

1-5

210K - 336K

Logistics / Warehouse / Operations

Procurement

21

AMBITION MARKET TRENDS & SALARY REPORT 1H 2015 HONG KONG

TECHNOLOGY
BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES

Within Banking & Financial Services in 2014 there have been


quite a number of good openings in the market, for example
Infrastructure Technology Services, Technical Business / System
Analyst, Information Security management, Security Services
Integration, Information Risk Management and Application
Networking roles.
Going into 2015, we believe the above mentioned roles will continue to be in demand. In
anticipation of that, the Technology team has strengthened its ranks with seasoned consultants
whose professional experience and relationships will be crucial in developing the banking
technology business.

Technology
Banking & Financial Services Professionals
Job Title

Experience

Annual Salary Range (HK$)

IT Director (ED MD)

15+

1.8M - 2.5M

Program Manager (VP-D)

15+

1M - 1.5M

Project Manager

6- 10+

750K - 1M

Senior Project Manager

10+

1M - 1.2M

Project Director

15+

1.3M - 1.5M

Senior Business Analyst

8 - 10

700K - 1M

Business Analyst

450K - 650K

Application Development Manager

10 - 15

750K - 1.1M

Lead Analyst Programmer

5 - 10

500K - 800K

Analyst Programmer

3-5

350K - 550K

Analyst Programmer

1-3

220K - 350K

Business Change

Application Development

22

Architect - Applications, Solutions, Systems, Data(VP-SVP) 12 - 18

800K - 1.2M

Database Administrator

3-5

480K - 600K

Database Administrator

1-5

360K - 480K

C++/Java

6 - 15

240K - 720K

.Net

6 - 15

240K - 720K

RDBMS developer/DBA

6 - 15

240K - 720K

Technology
Banking & Financial Services Professionals
Job Title
Infrastructure / Network

Experience

Annual Salary Range (HK$)

Infrastructure Director (ED-MD)

15+

1.5M - 2.4M

Infrastructure Manager (SVP-ED)

10 - 15

900K - 1.5M

Infrastructure Architect (VP-SVP)

6 - 15

600K - 1M

Network Architect

8 - 10+

700K - 1M

Network Engineer

5-8

500K - 800K

Network Support - 1st/2nd level

3-5

360K - 500K

Network Support - 1st/2nd level

1-3

240K - 360K

Systems administrator

4-8

400K - 600K

3rd line support


Security Director (SVP-ED)
Security Manager (VP-SVP)

5 - 10
15+
8 - 15

350K - 550K
900K - 1.5M
600K - 1M

Security Architect (VP-SVP)

4-8

600K - 1M

Security Analyst

4 - 10

260K - 450K

Senior/ Database Administrator

5-7

380K - 500K

Data Warehousing/ BI Specialist

7 - 10

500K - 650K

Data Architect

10 - 15

800K - 1M

Data Centre Project Manager

12 - 15

850K - 1.3M

Database Administrator

3-5

380K - 500K

Database Administrator

1-3

500K - 650K

1st Level Helpdesk Analyst

1-3

220K - 350K

1st Level Helpdesk Analyst

3-5

350K - 550K

2nd Level Desktop Support Analyst

1-3

300K - 400K

2nd Level Desktop Support Analyst

3-5

380K - 500K

3rd Level Support Analyst

5-8

500K - 620K

Unix Administrator

3-6

500K - 650K

Network Administrator

3-6

500K - 750K

Helpdesk Manager

8 - 12

750K - 950K

Trading systems support

6 - 15

450K - 900K

Database

Helpdesk Support

23

AMBITION MARKET TRENDS & SALARY REPORT 1H 2015 HONG KONG

TECHNOLOGY
Commerce & Industry

In the commerce and industry sectors, hot roles such as Analyst


Programmer, Web Developer, Enterprise Application Manager,
IT Analyst, IT Project Manager, Senior Developer, Head of IT
infrastructure and Infrastructure specialist are in demand.
Whereas within IT vendors companies, Pre Sales, Architect
Solutions, and Sales related positions are also in demand.
There are also quite a number of small IT startup companies
expanding their teams in APAC with regional offices in
Hong Kong.
In general for 2014, the trend for technology recruitment was very active with a slowdown in
the third quarter of the year. To continue our success and quality service delivery into 2015, our
recruitment consultants will be focusing on developing and maintaining our network and client
relationships in the technology business.

Technology
Commerce & Industry
Job Title

Experience

Annual Salary Range (HK$)

Chief Information Officer

15+

1.5M - 2.5M

IT Director

15+

1.2M+

Program Manager/ Director

12 - 15

800K - 1.2M

Senior/ IT Manager

10 - 12

720K - 840K

Senior/ Project Manager

10 - 15

480K - 840K

Senior/ Business Analyst

5-8

360K - 720K

Technical Consultant

6-8

480K - 600K

Pre/ Post-sales Consultant

5-8

360K - 600K

Solution/ Applications/ Systems Architect

12+

480K - 960K

System/ Application Development Manager

9+

480K - 840K

System Analyst

6+

336K - 480K

Analyst Programmer

4-6

300K - 360K

Senior/ Programmer

0-4

144K - 288K

RDBMS developer/DBA

4 - 10

200K - 660K

Business Change

Application Development

24

Technology
Commerce & Industry
Job Title

Experience

Annual Salary Range (HK$)

Infrastructure Director

10+

1M - 1.8M

Senior/ Infrastructure Manager

8+

480K - 800K

Infrastructure/ Network Architect

10+

720K - 1.2M

Infrastructure Analyst/ System Specialist

6+

300K - 420K

Senior/ Network Engineer

4-7

300K - 540K

Senior/ System Engineer

2-5

240K - 420K

Security Manager/ Consultant

8+

600K - 900K

Security Analyst

4-5

360K - 480K

Senior/ Database Administrator

5+

360K - 480K

Data Warehousing/ BI Specialist

7+

480K - 600K

Data Architect

10+

720K - 960K

Data Centre Project Manager

12+

840K - 1.2M

IT Support - 1st tier

0-3

180K - 276K

IT Support - 2nd tier

2-5

204K - 324K

IT Support - 3rd tier

5+

324K - 396K

Helpdesk Manager

8+

540K - 600K

Senior/ System Administrator

5+

288K - 400K

Senior/ Network Administrator

5+

360K - 480K

QA engineer

1-3

216K - 300K

Testing Manager

8+

540K - 780K

Infrastructure

Database / Data Centre

Support

Testing

Notes to salary tables:


1. Titles and levels vary from organisation to organisation.
2. The Salary Ranges given are only approximate guides. For tailored salary advice, please contact us directly.
3. 12 month base salaries are assumed.
4. All other benefits and bonuses are in addition to these figures.
5. B
 onus ranges can vary significantly from company to company and will be influenced by market conditions,
business and individual performances. Bonuses range from 1 month at the low end to 100%+ at the upper.
6. H
 oliday entitlements range from 12 - 25 days with senior executives not usually receiving less than 18 days.
Less than 15 is very rare and 20 days is becoming the norm.
7. Healthcare policies are standard.
8. Pension plans vary with some companies offering greater than the standard contribution. Top up schemes can
increase employer contribution levels as much as 15-20 percent of the base salary for senior executives.

25

Ambition
Market
Survey
1H 2015

AMBITION Market Survey 1H 2015 HONG KONG


AMBITION MARKET TRENDS & SALARY REPORT 1H 2015 HONG KONG

BENEFITS & REMUNeRATION


What are your bonus payout
expectations (for the year 2014) in 2015?

What are your salary increment


expectations in 2015?

Bonus payout expectations in %

Salary increment expectations in %

Above
20%

0%
21.29%

0%

14.72%

Between
11% - 20%

1 - 2%

16.31%

Less
than 5%

10% >

19.70%
27.97%

11.23%

12.18%

51.27%

8.47%

3 - 5%

16.84%

Between
6% - 10%

6 - 10%

What do you think is the most


important factor that will affect
your bonus figures?

Why do you think you would get


A salary increment in 2015?

Company
Performance

61.65%

Individual Work
Performance

47.88%

Individual Work
Performance

17.37%

Positive Company
Results

36.89%

Current Economic
Climate

11.33%

Relationship
with Supervisor

7.31%

I havent received
any in recent years

8.38%

Tenure of Role

2.33%

Expecting a
promotion

6.86%

Do you think you are paid in line with the market rate?

Yes

23.83%

I dont know
the market rate

40.15%

36.02%

No

What do you think is the best way to get you a good salary increment?

63.35%

Changing Jobs
Get a Promotion
Make a Career Switch
Working Long Hours
28

25.64%

10.38% 0.64%

CAREER
What do you like MOST about your current job?
Scope of Work

35.67%

Career Progression

9.75%

Company
Culture

16.63%

Your Manager

9.17%

Staff Benefits

12.84%

Communication
with Management

5.05%

Remuneration

10.89%

What do you like LEAST about your current job?


Lack of
Career Progression

26.83%

Your Manager

9.40%

Company
Culture

22.82%

Remuneration

8.94%

Scope of Work

13.65%

Lack of
Communication
with Management

5.85%

Staff Benefits

12.50%

Which question do you find the hardest


to answer during an interview?
Where do you
see yourself in 5
years time?

27.41%

What are your


strengths and
weaknesses?

9.06%

None at all.

22.82%

Do I believe in
work-life balance?

5.85%

Why I left
my previous jobs?

17.09%

My Age

3.67%

Talk about your


biggest success
/ achievements
in life?

14.11%

Do you wish to further your studies?


If so, what do you want to pursue?

43.12%

27.64%

19.95%

5.96% 3.33%

No, I dont wish to pursue my studies.


Yes, I wish to pursue my Masters.
Yes, I wish to pursue a relevant course/diploma.
Yes, I wish to pursue my PHD/Doctorate
Yes, I wish to pursue my degree.
29

AMBITION Market Survey 1H 2015 HONG KONG


AMBITION MARKET TRENDS & SALARY REPORT 1H 2015 HONG KONG

WORKPLACE CONDITIONS & DIVERSITY


WHAT ARE THE REASONS THAT YOU WORK LONG HOURS?
%
70
60

57.18%

50
40
30

27.03%

20

5.86%

4.31%

10

4.31%

1.32%

I dont work long hours

Because my colleagues work


long hours

For a promotion and pay raise

Because my boss works


long hours

Heavy workload

Its the company culture

What lowers your productivity


in the office?

59.69%
Long
Meetings

27.51%
Slow Network/
Technology System

20.93%

12.32%

8.73%

1.91%

Chatty
Colleagues

Office Layout
& Settings

Social
Media

Smoke
Breaks

How do you spend your lunch hour?

48.21%

I always eat out


Sometimes I eat out
I always eat a my desk while working
Going to the gym/working out
Attending Meetings
30

32.78%

14.23% 3.83% 0.96%

WORKPLACE CONDITIONS & DIVERSITY


Does your company promote and
practise workplace diversity in its hiring process?

I dont know

40.58%

Yes

30.03%

29.39%

No

Do you believe more can be done within your


organisation to support workplace diversity?

YES

NO
68.07%

31.93%

What do you think is the main benefit of workplace diversity?


%

Learning about other cultures

60
50

Diverse perspectives
and ideas at work

45.93%

Projecting a global image and


reputation of the organisation

40
30

30.15%

All of the above

20

None
10
0

9.29%

9.41%

5.22%

31

AMBITION Market Survey 1H 2015 HONG KONG


AMBITION MARKET TRENDS & SALARY REPORT 1H 2015 HONG KONG

Online and Social Media


Do you bring up work issues
on your social media pages
(etc Facebook, Twitter)?

HAVE YOUR EVER CHANGED YOUR


IMPRESSION(S) OF YOUR COLLEAGUE(S) BASED
ON THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATES?

86.53%

25.61%
12.14%

No, I dont
at all

No, not at all

36.29%

I dont care

1.33%

Yes, I do
but
selectively

Yes, I have

21.24%

Yes, I do
on
everything

I dont add
colleagues on my
personal social
networks

16.87%

How do the employees in your organisation


communicate with one another the most?
2.68%

Email

17.62%
12.26%
6.26%
61.17%

Do you go onto your social


media accounts during
office hours?

Office Communicator
Phone
Intranet
Social Media

How often do you access


your social media accounts
during office hours?
78.64%

YES
57.52%
13.59%

7.77%

5 to 10
times

More than
10 times

NO
42.48%
32

Once to 3
times

MARKET
Do you think your company updates its
staff sufficiently and frequently enough
on company matters/performance?

YES

NO

57.05%

42.95%

Are you waiting for your bonus payout


and/or pay increment before you start
your job search?
Yes

34.90%

No

23.76%

I have already
started looking
for a new job

23.64%

I dont intend to
switch jobs

17.70%

What is the main reason you would resign


or have previously resigned from your job?

37.13%

20.42%

18.07%

13.86%

5.20% 3.71% 1.61%

No career progression

Limited flexible working hours

Dissatisfaction with salary

No or insufficient training
and development

Company culture misfitt


Poor relationship with Manager

Lower than expected bonus

What would you do if you feel your


career has come to a standstill?

Make a career
switch

41.96%

Take up a relevant
course to upgrade myself

30.20%

Take some time


off work for a
refreshed start

Do nothing and
hope it will improve

21.53%

6.31%

where would you like to relocate


TO Further your Career?
Hong Kong

41.58%

Australia

31.68%

Europe

29.33%

USA

25.62%

China

22.90%

Malaysia

10.15%

Would you consider a


contract/temporary job?
Only when I
really cant get a
permanent role

3.09%

18.32%

19.55%

59.03%

I would never take


on a contract/
temporary role
I would consider
a contract role
any time
I prefer contract
roles over
permanent roles

33

AMBITION MARKET TRENDS & SALARY REPORT 1H 2015 HONG KONG

ABOUT
AMBITION
Ambition is a leading global boutique recruitment business listed
on the Australian Securities Exchange.
With coverage across Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo,
Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and London. We specialise within
the areas of Banking & Financial Services, Finance & Accounting,
Sales & Marketing, Supply Chain & Procurement, and Technology.
We are best known for specialisation with in-depth knowledge
and expertise, well-established networks and deep relationships.
What makes us different
We believe our size is a significant differentiator in the recruitment industry. We are big enough to
undertake large scale projects for our clients, yet small enough to retain the soul and personality
of a smaller company.
We work relentlessly to reinforce our purpose and culture and believe passionately that no one in
the company is too small to make a difference.
As a global boutique recruitment business, our offices are extremely closely connected.
Our management structure is geared towards facilitating communication between offices and
our processes and technology go further to support this connection. Ultimately, this means we
are well placed to source the hardest to find candidates and to extend client relationships to our
international office network.
For more information, please visit www.ambition.com.hk

Get Social
Ambition are committed to driving innovation and have a strong social media presence allowing
us to interact and engage through videos, whitepapers, surveys, webinars, trends and blogs via
LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

34

NOTES

35

BUILDING
BETTER
FUTURES.

Hong Kong
Level 25, 28 Hennessy Road, Hong Kong
T:+852 3101 3066 F: +852 3101 3068

www.ambition.com.hk